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Fuel Sales

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 4 November 2021

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Questions (65)

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

65. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the way the sale and supply of domestic solid fuels will be deterred in circumstances in which that fuel does not meet the new regulations and standards to be introduced in advance of winter heating season 2022 in particular in circumstances in which that fuel is sold in large quantities through online sales or advertisements and in which the fuel is sold from outside Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53480/21]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The new solid fuel regulations are currently being drafted, so it would not be appropriate to provide a detailed account of the legal mechanisms that are being considered regarding sale and supply.

The same enforcement procedures will apply to all solid fuels regardless of how they have been placed on the market in Ireland, including through online sales or other forms of advertising. It is worth noting, however, that the main marketplace websites in Ireland have policies which prohibit the advertising of illegal goods.

Local Authorities will be responsible for enforcing the provisions of the new enhanced solid fuel regulations within their functional areas, and will have significant powers available to enable them do so effectively.

The Programme for Government also includes a commitment to develop a regional approach to air quality enforcement and an increase in multi-agency operations in order to clamp down on the sale of non-compliant solid fuels imported from other jurisdictions, with Local Authorities and the Revenue Commissioners involved. Given the links between burning of solid fuels and the health effects of air pollution, as well as the potential for market distortion for businesses properly adhering to the regulations, increased multi-agency enforcement and inspections of cross-border fuel movements will be required.

Discussions with the Local Authority sector have commenced with the intention of establishing dedicated resources within regional lead authorities to provide co-ordination, expertise and advice to support consistent enforcement of the new regulations across the country. My Department is fully committed to supporting Local Authorities in this regard, including through the provision of additional supports for the most effective model of enforcement.

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